原創翻譯:龍騰網 http://www.ciqjm.icu 翻譯:徐晃同學下盤并不穩 轉載請注明出處
論壇地址:http://www.ciqjm.icu/bbs/thread-485386-1-1.html



As society contemplates going to the moon or Mars, there’s a rising debate as to whether it’s worth spending tens of billions of dollars to send humans to other planets if a robot or rover can perform the necessary science.

隨著人類社會考慮去月球或火星,如果機器人或探測器能夠進行必要的科學研究,是否值得花費數百億美元將人類送至其他星球,這是一個日益激烈的爭論。

I think NASA needs to send both humans and machines. Let me explain why.

我認為美國航天局需要同時派出人類和機器。讓我來解釋一下原因。

I started off my 28-year career at NASA as an engineer on the shuttle training aircraft – an airborne simulator of the space shuttle. During my 17 years as an astronaut, I flew on three space missions. Two of those were shuttle missions, STS-117 and STS-119, to the International Space Station.

我在美國航天局開始了我28年的職業生涯,擔任航天飛機訓練機的工程師——這是航天飛機的空中模擬器。在我17年的宇航員生涯中,我執行了三次太空任務。其中兩個是航天飛行任務,STS-117和STS-119,都是前往國際空間站。



Apollo 17 versus Curiosity

阿波羅17號 VS 好奇號

To try to compare scientific output between a crewed and a robotic mission, let me contrast the Apollo 17 – the last moon mission of December 1972, in which Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt spent 75 hours on the lunar surface – with the Mars Curiosity rover with respect to three variables: distance traveled, cost and soil samples taken. While these two missions are distinctly different – the former being lunar and the latter on Mars – there are similarities that help us compare their productivity.

為了比較載人任務和機器人任務之間的科學成果,讓我對比阿波羅17號——1972年12月的最后一次月球任務,吉恩·塞爾南和哈里森·施米特在月球表面停留了75小時——讓其與火星好奇號探測器在三個變量上進行對比:旅行距離、成本和采集的土壤樣本。雖然這兩個任務有明顯的不同——前者是月球任務,后者是火星上任務——但有一些相似之處可以幫助我們比較它們的效率。

When it comes to distance covered, the humans won. The two Apollo 17 astronauts drove a distance of 35 kilometers on the moon in the span of three days – that’s approximately 11.6 kilometers per day. As of February 2019, Curiosity had traveled 20.16 kilometers on Mars - an average of 9 meters per day since it began its journey on Mars in August 2012.

當談到距離時,人類贏了。阿波羅17號的兩名宇航員在三天的時間里在月球上行駛了35公里,也就是每天大約11.6公里。而截至2019年2月,“好奇號”自2012年8月開始在火星上以來,已經在火星上行進了20.16公里,平均每天9米。

Now I’m not knocking Curiosity or its team. But executing a task is extremely difficult when dealing with a rover 55 to 400 million kilometers away, depending upon the relative positions of Earth and Mars in their orbits. If the Earth-based Curiosity team issues the wrong commands to the rover, it could jeopardize or even end the mission. Hence, they have to move slowly and verify every step. That means that something a human could accomplish in a couple of hours – like taking multiple rock samples – make take a robot weeks.

現在我不是在批判好奇號和它的團隊。但是在處理5500萬到4億公里以外的火星車時,執行任務是極其困難的,這取決于地球和火星在軌道上的相對位置。如果地球上的好奇號團隊對火星車發出錯誤的指令,可能會危及甚至結束任務。因此,他們必須慢慢行動,驗證每一步。這意味著人類只需幾個小時就能完成的事情——比如采集多個巖石樣本——機器人則需要幾周的時間。

During Apollo 17 the astronauts collected 741 rock and soil samples, including a deep-drill core sample 3 meters long. This amounts to 247 samples each day. I had some difficulty finding the equivalent information for Curiosity. What I did discover was that as of Jan. 15, 2019, Curiosity had drilled 19 sites and had taken two samples without drilling.

在阿波羅17號期間,宇航員收集了741個巖石和土壤樣本,其中包括一個3米長的深鉆孔巖芯樣本。這相當于每天247個樣本。至于好奇號,我很難找到同樣的信息。我發現截至2019年1月15日,好奇號已經鉆探了19個地點,并在沒有鉆探的情況下采集了兩個樣本。

So Curiosity has taken at most 30 soil samples while on Mars. That is, on average, 0.013 soil samples per day – which shows how difficult it is to operate a piece of machinery remotely. When equipment such as a drill malfunctions, which it has on Curiosity, there is nobody there to repair it. So the team must find workarounds to the problems for them to continue to get science.

所以好奇號在火星上最多采集了30個土壤樣本。也就是說,平均每天0.013個土壤樣本——這表明遠程操作一臺機器有多么困難。當好奇號上諸如鉆頭之類的設備發生故障時,沒有人去修理它。因此,研究小組必須找到解決問題的方法,以便他們繼續獲得科學事實。

Cost of Apollo versus Curiosity

阿波羅和好奇號的成本對比



For Mars we could have teams at mission controls around the world running the experiments using rovers as they do now – but the teams could do the science much more quickly. That’s because there would always be a human nearby to help out if the rover got stuck or malfunctioned.

對于火星,我們可以讓世界各地的任務控制小組像現在一樣使用探測器進行實驗——但是這些小組可以更快地進行科學研究。這是因為如果探測器卡住或故障,附近總會有人幫忙。

Yes, it is more expensive to send humans to space than rovers, but we can’t disregard that humans can rapidly adapt to unanticipated situations and repair and modify equipment, which in the end boosts the likelihood of success.

是的,把人類送上太空比探測器要昂貴得多,但我們不能忽視的是,人類能夠迅速適應意外情況,修理和改裝設備,這最終提高了成功的可能性。

A human perspective

從人類的角度來看

There is also so much we can learn about a new world that sensors just can’t tell us. What does it feel like? Look like? Smell like? This is how most people on Earth will relate to space exploration. So having this human perspective is vital for generating enthusiasm.

對于一個新世界我們可以了解的東西還有很多,但傳感器無法告訴我們。感覺怎么樣?看起來像什么?聞起來像什么?這就是地球上大多數人對太空探索的看法。因此,擁有這種人性化的視角對于激發熱情至關重要。

For example, one of the first questions I get from people when we talk about space is simply, “What was it like?” And they wanted to know all the details, from brushing your teeth to doing a spacewalk. I would always add that we never knew how our day was going, because most of our tasks, be it science or maintenance, ran into problems that needed a human fix.

例如,當我們談論太空時,人們問我的第一個問題很簡單,“它是什么樣的?”他們想知道從刷牙到太空行走的所有細節。我總是補充說,我們從來都不知道我們的一天過得如何,因為我們的大多數任務,無論是科學還是維護,都遇到了需要人為解決的問題。

I agree the rovers on Mars have done wonders and helped get people excited about planetary exploration, but I’m sure the excitement of humans going to Mars would be much greater.

我同意火星上的探測器創造了奇跡,幫助人們對行星探索感到興奮,但我相信人類去火星的興奮度會更大。